Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cross-Processing and other Photo Experiments

If nothing else, shooting film has made me a more patient person. Shooting, processing and scan time alone can be a minimum ten-day process. While waiting for my 35mm film negs from the lab I usually will use that down time to experiment with another camera or film format. This is exactly what I did while waiting for a roll of elite chrome to be cross-processed.


1946 Kodak Brownie Target Six-20

I’ve been keeping a close eye on e-bay for inexpensive (but functional) vintage cameras. For $14.00us I was able to purchase a 1946 Kodak Brownie Target Six-20. According to a Brownie camera website ( ) the original price was $3.50us.

After further research on the web, I was able to determine that the camera has a shutter speed of 1/50th of a second with two f-stop choices – f11 and f16. The camera uses 620 roll film, which was introduced by Kodak in 1932 and discontinued in 1995. After even more snooping, I found that B&H Photo in New York City ( ) sells 620 film (which in fact is just 120 film rolled onto a 620 reel). With a roll of Kodak Portra 120 film selling for about $3.50us and the B&H 620 (respooled) film selling for $12.50us(!) it was an easy decision to “roll my own” in the future. Both 620 film spools and film changing bags are available on e-bay.

Although a bit of a project, it’s experiments like this that make film photography so much fun. Plus, the look on peoples faces when you walk in with your 1946 Brownie camera ready to shoot.

The results from my first roll were pleasing enough to warrant trying a second roll soon.

Justin - Kodak Brownie Target Six-20 Camera

1946 Kodak Brownie Target Six-20 / Camera Test

More on 620 film here:

(thanks to Justin Wingenfeld and Brian McNulty for letting me photograph them with my Kodak Brownie!)


Kodachrome 200

In the past few months I have shot many rolls of expired Kodachrome 25 and Kodachrome 64 and have achieved excellent results as far as performance of the expired film. After all, shooting on old film stock is a bit of a “crap shoot.” You just never know what you’re gonna get! So far, I’ve been very lucky - no doubt due to the stability of the Kodachrome low asa stock.

This in my first shot using 200asa Kodachrome. Scanned using the Epson v700. The developed image was a bit muddy so I imported it into Adobe Photoshop in order to increase the contrast. I'm going to test a few more rolls in the coming weeks.

Pizza Friday 10/16/2009

I suspect that the 200 Kodachrome has a much shorter shelf life than its 25asa and 64 asa siblings. Based on my experiences, when shooting expired film, storage seems to be the absolute key.As of today (10/29/09) almost every seller of Kodachrome on e-bay is claiming that their film was cold stored (as the cold stored film fetches the highest bids). I'd like to...but can not believe that every person is really keeping their Kodachrome "on ice."

Woodland Lake in New Jersey USA continues to be a favorite test spot for all things Kodachrome.

Lie Down, Look Up

Sun at Woodland Lake

(thanks to William Hellfire and Vlad Suslov for allowing me to "snap" them using Kodachrome 200. Dig that Kodachrome skin tone!)


According to the Wikipedia:

Cross processing (sometimes abbreviated to Xpro) is the procedure of deliberately processing photographic film in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film. The effect was discovered independently by many different photographers often by mistake in the days of C-22 and E-4. The process is seen most often in fashion advertising and band photography, and in more recent years has become more synonymous with the Lomography movement.

I decided to shoot a test roll using Kodak Elite Chrome 100 Cross-Processed in C-41 Chemistry. As someone who strives to shoot crisp, focused photography, the cross-process effect is a bit jarring. My brain keeps telling me to “fix those green skin tones!”

Thanks to William and Erin, who let me snap them at Burger Deluxe in Wayne, NJ USA. Cross-processed image below.

Cross-Processed in C-41 Chemistry

More Xpro stuff on the web:

See everyone in a few weeks! Don’t forget to listen to my new Internet Radio Show – FILM PHOTOGRAPHY PODCAST

Flickr Group:

You can e-mail me at

Monday, October 26, 2009

Four Weeks of Camera Geekdom

The last few weeks have been great fun – experimenting with various vintage film cameras and film formats. So many possibilities…always satisfying.


I’ve become a bit of a KodaKook when it comes to Kodachrome film. Since Kodak announced its discontinuation in June of this year, every photographer in the world that has been hoarding this unique film in their freezer (for 1 to 20 years) has begun to auction off their stash on e-bay.

Kodachrome Tundra '84

The freezing process almost stops the aging process in film. So I’ve confidently purchased Kodachrome that is 25 years past its expiration date. Somewhat risky but amazingly fun, I haven’t shot a bad batch of Kodachrome yet. An amazingly stable film.

Because of it’s complicated emulsion; Kodak announced that Kodachrome processing will only be available through December of 2010 via Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas. With only 14 months and a freezer filled with film, I’m dedicating my next year to Kodachrome photography. My ever-growing gallery can be seen here:


The Smoove Sailors / Harsimus Cemetary

The Smoove Sailors / Harsimus Cemetary

above: Kodachrome shots of THE SMOOVE SAILORS


With the limited supply of fresh 126 cartridge film, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that many 126 film shooters have been loading 35mm film into their old 126 film cartridges. I was thrilled to find a video on YouTube that explained the process.

I was curious and decided to have a go at it. My camera of choice is the Keystone 125x Auto-Instant camera. I had a very old roll of Kodak 126 film and decided to sacrifice the old film in order to utilize the cartridge and load it with fresh 35mm Kodak Portra 160vc. I already owned a film changing bag, so I was ready to go. Out of the 35mm magazine and into the 126 cartridge. Once shot I removed the film from the cartridge and put the film into a re-usable 35mm magazine and off to the lab it went. My 126 cartridge can now be used over and over.

A really fun project. Give it a try. 126 Instamatic cameras and cartridges are very inexpensive to purchase from e-bay.

Modified 126 Cartridge

Pizza Friday PLAY-OFFS 10/2/2009

Some pleasing results from the 126 modified camera on courtesy of the kind folks during Pizza Friday at Pop Cinema Studios. Yumm.

Many thanks to Jason Muspratt (who made the instruction video).


Speaking of expired film, I’m well underway on contributing images to Dan Whitman’s OLD FILM PROJECT on

It’s been a great opportunity to shoot on black and white film – something that I have avoided my entire life. I’ve always shot color, so the project is an excellent “opposite” to my year-long commitment to Kodachrome.

Woodland Lake, Pequannock NJ USA

Butler Center, New Jersey USA

Butler Center, New Jersey USA

I was sent eight rolls of EFKE KB 21 Black and White Negative Film (expired 4/1977). The film is age-defying and yielded impressive blacks.

The OLD FILM PROJECT group can be seen here:


Film Photography Podcast

After seven months of producing and co-hosting (with John Fedele) the Alternative Cinema Podcast ( ), the natural progression was to launch a Film Photography Podcast – which I did on October 15th. I’ve worked with photographer Duane Polcou so many, many times in the past on feature film productions that he was my natural choice to co-host. His knowledge of medium and large format film photography is a nice contract to my quirky DIY 110, 126 and 35mm photo style.

Film Photography Podcast Premiere - October 15, 2009

We launched on October 15th on iTunes with great feedback from listeners. Hope you’ll listen too.

On Flickr